Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Book Review)


If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count:

This is the sequel to Victoria Aveyard‘s Red Queen and if you haven’t read the book, I do not suggest you read on. I won’t spoil the content of Glass Sword, but it will still give things away for the series as a whole, especially the first part.

I should probably start by saying that I was one of the people who absolutely loved Red Queen. I rated it 5 stars, not because I thought it didn’t have any flaws, but rather because I valued the entertainment factor that much. Now, I wish I could say the same about Glass Sword, but somehow it was a real let down.

We actually start right back in the action with Mare and Cal trying to flee from Maven (who I still hold a candle for). It was exciting, it was exhilarating, but unfortunately it doesn’t last for very long. Mare’s main goal to find others like her is a commendable one, but it makes for a slow story. There was a lot of traveling, a lot of Mare not trusting anyone and going in circles with her thoughts. And I can tell you that the repetitiveness of the book wasn’t really something that spoke to me. Every now and then there would be a spark of excitement, something intriguing happening, just for it to last a maximum of 10 pages and then go back to the slow pace.

I think the main issue here was that we had no real concept of the size or the areas of Norta and the surrounding kingdoms. They traveled miles and miles, introduced a ton of new people, but without seeing a map and having a real connection to any of the newbies, it was a little difficult to keep track.
Another thing that bothered me was Mare herself. I get that the betrayal from Red Queen made it difficult for her to trust people, but even when they actively prove her otherwise, she believes she is all alone. I’ve read enough about dystopian heroes and heroines to know that that’s bad. You can never make it alone and that made her behaviour so frustrating. She clearly wanted the people around, but kept pushing them away at every turn – lying to them and to herself.

However, enough with the bad stuff, there were a lot of things that I liked too. A lot of characters get a more page time, like Farley, but as I mentioned new ones were introduced as well. Some of them really stood out and I am certain they will play a bigger role in the future. I enjoyed seeing how everyone changed with time and ultimately also grew up. I have to admit that I am still super intrigued by Maven. He is sort of becoming a reverse Warner from Shatter Me and that gives me hope that he’s not all evil … I don’t know why I still carry a torch for him. The new abilities were also really cool, even though I still think that Mare’s ability to create electricity out of nowhere is among the best.

The main reason for this not being a flat out 3 stars, but 3.5 were the last 50 to 60 pages! They broke my heart, had me crying and angry at the same time. Even though the book really dragged in parts, those final pages were what really got to me and what assured that I will definitely pick up the next books. Yet I cannot help but wonder if it was really necessary to broaden this series from a trilogy to four books …

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! It had it’s moments but unfortunately it wasn’t nearly as gripping in total as the first installment. I am hoping for a better sequel.


Have you read the series? What are your thoughts on Glass Sword? Does the book suffer from second-book-syndrome?

63 thoughts on “Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Book Review)

  1. I’m sorry you didn’t like it. Your not the minority though for holding that opinion as at least half of the people that have read seem to hold the same view as you. Me not being one of them, I seriously loved this second book porbably because I thought this was as entertaining as the first book. Mare was a huge troubling factor for me though. I just didn’t seem to like her that much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to say that the low rating may have something to do with me constantly comparing it to Red Rising. Nothing can hold up to that … But there were so many similarities, yet whenever I understood Darrow and felt with him, I was angry at Mare for being so stupid or making a certain decision. She kept repeating the same thoughts over and over and the traveling sort of bored me. It had great, really exciting parts inbetween and the ending was stunning, but other than that, it just wasn’t as much fun for me as the first book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can definitely see your point. I don’t really think Red Queen and Red Rising are on same level tension and action wise so I could never really compare them. Mare was very repetitive definitely. I remember thinking to myself ‘can someone just slap this girl?!’

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know, that’s why Glass Sword just failed at the comparison. hahaha
        YES! Mare was infuriating at times. I just wanted her to cuddle up with one of her boys and enjoy it without thinking that everyone was afraid of her and was going to leave her soon anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahaha! They are one completely different levels though!
        And YES! I think that she still loves Maven in a twisted way, which is why she couldn’t be happy with Cal (at least that’s what I’m hoping for because I’ve been routing for them since Red Queen!) but still, shut up and face your fate Mare.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know, but my brain just wouldn’t shut up about how Red Rising was way better, which didn’t help Glass Sword at all.
        That’s a good way of thinking abuot it. I am so intrigued as to what will happen next.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, you and I are on the same page with that book. I found it really hard to keep track, too, I would have loved a map or something, because for half of the story, I felt confused about where they were, where they were going, everything just felt too blurry. And yes, Mare was SO frustrating at times, well, basically all the time, for me, I just wanted to scream at her, haha. But those last pages, damn…I can’t wait to know what happens next! Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even though I am not massively surprised, I am really glad we are on the same page. It was a real let down for me 😦 I loved Red Queen a lot …
      Mare was SO annoying! I don’t remember her being this infuriating in the first book, but I could have just forgotten about it during the long wait hahaha I need to know how it continues though .. and I still want Maven to be good. She distrusted EVERYONE, but Mare suspiciously thought of him a lot and not just in a bad way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I didn’t remember Mare being that annoying, either, and I kind of want to read the first book again to see what went wrong there… I get you, I would love for Maven to have some good inside of him, but I don’t know, I don’t know and trust anything about that series anymore, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, it has created some serious trust issues. But then again, only Maven really betrayed her. All the others were freakishly loyal, like to the point where they threw themselves in front of her and caught bullets. I mean, if that’s not proof of loyalty, then I don’t know.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, you’re right. It’s definitely what annoyed me the most, I get that Mare has trust issues now, I completely get that, but her constant interrogations kind of annoyed me. Like you said, there are people who’d take bullets for her, and yet she would still question them.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review! You know where I stand with Red Queen and that I wasn’t completely sure about reading Glass Sword. This morning I decided to definitely giving it a go but … Knowing that the story is somehow slow paced and that Mare has the dystopian heroine stupidity syndrome doesn’t encourage me HOWEVER I have read the comments in this post AND I’ve seen that my ship will sail SO yep. At least I’ll have that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice review. You liked this book more than I did. My review is not nearly as kind. :/ I wish I could say that it had it moments. But, for me, it never really did. I’m glad to see that some people did enjoy it, though. At least a little bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I can definitely see where you are coming from, but I found the confrontations with Maven and the introduction of Jon and Cole quite good. I just really thought that Mare would be more tolerable … but nope, she was infuriating most of the book. I am hoping the series will get better again. Do you plan on reading the other books too?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I thought there wasn’t enough Maven. I’m not saying that from a crushy perspective either. I’m coming more from a “he’s your best developed and most interesting supporting character, so we should see more of him”perspective. Dangling him in from of us a couple times gave us brief moments of “weeee…” but it didn’t really do much otherwise. If it’s supposed to make him seem more terrifying, it didn’t work.

        But yeah… Mare sucked in this book. I hated her. Bring back Mareena. I liked her better. 😛

        Yeah, I will probably read the rest of the series. I rarely give up on something I start. I just hope the next one is better.


      • Yep, it could have done with even more Maven, but I think it was difficult to incorporate him without making him seem allknowing about where they are and how to find them. But I get it. I am not really terrified of him either, I still really like him.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. 3 stars is really quite generous, in my opinion — I usually give three stars to book I generally liked, although it might have flaws. 😛

    Like you, I’m super intrigued by Maven. In Red Queen I was wishing he was going to be the main love interest, just because imagine how twisty and wonderful that’s going to be! But alas, we get Cal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess it is pretty generous. But I felt weird rating it even farther below since I gave the first one 5 stars. I don’t really know how my own rating works sometimes hahaha


  6. Aww man, I’m seeing so many meh reviews for Glass Sword. I loved Red Queen (like how one would love a whole tub of chocolate ice cream that you would eat in one go), and I’ve been anxiously awaiting Glass Sword.

    I REALLY liked Maven, and felt a little betrayed myself at the end of Red Queen. XD Although I don’t know what happens in Glass Sword, I secretly hope he becomes an anti-hero. That would make my heart melt. *u*

    Thanks for the review Kat! I’m still excited to read Glass Sword – though now I will read it with a grain of salt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved Red Queen too, so this was a vast disappointment in comparison. But I hope you’ll still like it. I remain of the opinion that the end sort of makes up for the dragging parts.
      Maven still has my heart … even after this … but I am not going to say more.


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